Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Pharmacol. 1996 Jul;50(1):67-74.

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha required for gene induction by dehydroepiandrosterone-3 beta-sulfate.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis, National Cancer institute, National Institutes of health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR alpha) mediates the effects of foreign chemical peroxisome proliferators on liver and kidney, including the induction of peroxisomal, mitochondrial, and microsomal enzymes involved in beta-oxidation of fatty acids. However, the role of this receptor in the peroxisome proliferative effects of the endogenous steroid dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is not known. DHEA-3 beta-sulfate fd(DHEA-S) is shown to induce a liver peroxisome proliferative response in rats in vivo at a dose at which DHEA is much less active, which is consistent with cultured hepatocyte studies indicating a requirement for sulfation for the activation of DHEA. Transient transfection experiments demonstrated that in contrast to the prototypic foreign chemical peroxisome proliferator pirinixic acid, DHEA-S and its 17 beta-reduced metabolite, 5-androstene-3 beta, 17 beta-diol-3 beta-sulfate, are inactive in mediating trans-activation by PPAR alpha in COS-1 cells. Two other mammalian PPAR isoforms, gamma and delta/Nucl, were also inactive with respect to DHEA-S trans-activation. To test whether PPAR alpha mediates peroxisomal gene induction by DHEA-S in intact animals, we administered DHEA-S or clofibrate to mice lacking a functional PPAR alpha gene. Both peroxisome proliferators markedly increased hepatic expression of two microsomal cytochrome P450 4A proteins as well as six mRNAs known to be associated with the peroxisomal proliferative response in wild-type mice. In contrast, neither DHEA-S nor clofibrate induced these hepatic proteins and mRNAs in PPAR alpha-deficient mice. Clofibrate-induced expression of kidney CYP4A mRNAs was also blocked in the PPAR alpha gene knockout mice. Thus, despite its unresponsiveness to steroidal peroxisome proliferators in transfection assays, PPAR alpha is obligatory for DHEA-S-stimulated hepatic peroxisomal gene induction. DHEA-S, or one of its metabolites, may thus serve as an important endogenous regulator of liver peroxisomal enzyme expression via a PPAR alpha-mediated pathway.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center